How to get involved

NEW: See the Preliminary Review page for more information about the first stage of our research.

Our research seeks to address the question: How is the practice of volunteering being reconfigured in the digital age?

While there is a long history of social research on third sector organizations (TSOs) and volunteers, there is a gap in research relating to volunteer experience, compounded as volunteering itself has changed dramatically in recent years. On the one hand, volunteering has become increasingly employment-like whilst in contrast new forms such as micro-volunteering have become significant, as time-poor individuals respond to the call for increasing civic engagement while still managing existing work and life commitments. At the same time, third sector organizations are now taking to social media with increasing vigour. These media provide volunteer organizations with the opportunity to advertise their work and recruit volunteers, to build stronger relationships with and among volunteers, and to offer them new levels of flexibility in the form and scheduling of their volunteering. These developments also, however, potentially provide challenges for volunteers in the additional demands placed on their technological capabilities, and on the increased demands on the ability of volunteers to manage competing demands on their time in the face of always-on ubiquitous media and to effectively juggle personal, professional and volunteer identities.

We would like to hear from you if you have any experience of volunteering in any type of third sector organization to.  Your experience might include, for example, fundraising activity, service provision or working as an intern within the third sector.  At this early stage we are keen to talk to participants across a broad range of roles and there is no requirement for this to have involved particular forms or types of technology.

Please email katrina.pritchard@open.ac.uk for more information.

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